Comino bungalows will be for sale, Environment Impact Assessment indicates

The bungalows on Comino, which are to be redeveloped as part of a wider planning application, are intended to be sold, an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report tied to the project reads.

The whole project proposal is to redevelop the existing 100-guestroom Comino Hotel and bungalows complex located on the north coast of the island of Comino, respectively in San Niklaw Bay and Santa Marija Bay. “Specifically, the proposal is to provide for a new hotel and serviced bungalows (described as ‘Santa Marija Village’). The proposed hotel will comprise 71 guestrooms, with amenities including food and beverage outlets, outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. A total of 21 bungalows are proposed in place of the existing bungalows, together with a restaurant,” the EIA read. The Environment Impact Assessment report is out for consultation on Thursday. It was drawn up by ADI Associates.  

“The serviced bungalows will be for sale and prospective owners can opt to put their property in a rental pool, serviced by the hotel. Bungalow owners/guests can make use of the hotel facilities and services,” the report reads.

The project was proposed by HV Hospitality Limited, which is owned by Hili Ventures Ltd. In their presentation to the press when the project was first announced, Hili Ventures and their architects said that the design of the new villa area will take a different form than the current bungalow village. Instead of the large buildings present currently, smaller box shaped buildings will replace them, but will go further out than the current footprint.

The EIA report reads that “each individual bungalow is planned around a central garden courtyard. A private garden of approximately 300 m² is provided for each holiday bungalow. The gardens are stepped so as to follow the natural terrain. The adjacent architectural volumes also step down to follow the terrain.”

“Subject to the approval of the necessary planning and environmental permits, the demolition and excavation works are anticipated for award in the first quarter of 2022 and for commencement of works on site in the second or third quarter of 2022, pending the issue of an executable development permit. Construction of the superstructure is envisaged to commence in the first quarter of 2023. It is anticipated that the Hotel and village will open in April 2025. At this stage it is envisaged that the village and the Hotel will open at the same time,” the EIA reads.

The EIA did find that the overall project would have a number of impacts. As an example, the impact on geological resources is considered to be of major negative significance “since the Scheme involves the extraction of rock and soil from the site.” In addition, there will be loss of habitat at both the hotel site and the village. “The loss at the hotel site is because the new development is being set back from the coast. The loss at the village is a result of the increase in the number of buildings that will result in further encroachment on the surrounding garrigue habitat.”

A number of mitigation measures were proposed to mitigate the impact of the project where possible. Among other things, good site working methods should be employed during the entire construction phase to minimise dust emissions and minimise risk of trampling onto habitats of ecological importance. During construction, these habitats should be cordoned off in order to protect them. 

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